Stashed away in my freezer were fifteen pound of apricots; regular apricots, red velvet apricots, and black velvet apricots. They were purchased for making jam. Unfortunately, other things got in the way, like a massive heat wave and the lethargy it creates. The thought of canning goes out the window. So, the bags of fruit were tossed in the freezer, pits, stems and an occasional leaf intact. Last night we had thunderstorms with a bit of rain and it was rather cool this morning. I decided to bring the apricots out of their frozen slumber and turn them into jam.
I first made the regular apricots into jam and it looked and tasted delicious. Apricot is one of my favorite jams. I love to use it as a glaze on a pie crust or top of a fruit tart. My five pounds of fruit yielded eleven 8 oz and three 4 oz jars of jam. They look beautiful.
Next I made the red velvet apricots into jam. As it was cooking I detected an odor I hadn’t noticed with the regular apricots. I wondered if the red velvets had spoiled in the bag before I froze them. I couldn’t imagine that since I froze them the morning after bringing them home from the store. I got brave and tasted a bit of the jam as it was cooking towards the jell stage. It was tart and acidic, nothing like the apricot jam. My Mac cried out from the other room that it could help me. Indeed, a Google search produced the information I needed. Red velvet and black velvet apricots are actually apriums, a hybrid between an apricot and a plum. The only part of the apricot that remains except the fuzzy skin is a little texture. The rest is plum. That explains the tartness. Resting assured that I wasn’t putting up spoiled fruit, I forged ahead and successfully canned 13 jars of Red Velvet Apricot jam that tastes like plum jam.
The black velvet apricots were next. They had an even different taste than the red velvet, a little sweeter and a little less tart. I ended up with 14 jars of black velvet apricot jam that tastes like plum jam.
Tonight there is more room in my freezer, but my dining room table is now home to forty plus jars of jam! To be honest, I thought five pound of fruit would yield about 3 jars of jam. I was wrong. I had to make a trip to town for lemons, sugar and canning jars right in the middle of the jam making. The good news is that I did not trash my kitchen like I normally do when canning. I was very organized, washing pots, ladles, wooden spoons as I went along. I will thank myself in the morning for that!
Left to right we have apricot, red velvet apricot, and black velvet apricot jam in tiny 4 oz jars for sampling. It is fun being in my office hearing the plink, plink, plink sound as one jar after another seals. It is music to my ears. Now I just hope I remember next winter, when I bring out a jar of red velvet apricot jam, that it is really plum.
I did a jam taste test this morning, putting all three apricot jams on buttered biscuits. From the left, apricot, red velvet apricot, and black velvet apricot.
While the standard apricot stood out just a bit, there was no clear winner. I loved them all!